Ethanol Group Pressures Canadian Government

The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA), a coalition of industries that support the development of alternative fuels from renewable resources, has called on the Canadian government to introduce a national renewable fuels strategy…

Ottawa, Canada – October 21, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA), a coalition of industries that support the development of alternative fuels from renewable resources, has called on the Canadian government to introduce a national renewable fuels strategy. Such a strategy would position Canada as an international leader in the development of a cutting-edge environmental technology, according to the CRWA. The group is also encouraging federal provincial and territorial energy and environment ministers, meeting next week in Halifax, to send a strong signal in support of the initiative. “Renewable fuels are the way of the future,” said Bliss Baker, President of the CRFA. “This strategy is expected to create new markets for over 100 million bushels of Canadian grain and generate over CAN$1.5 billion in direct investment in Canada. It will also help us lower greenhouse gas emissions(GHGs) – helping us reach our Kyoto targets – and most important of all, creating a cleaner, healthier quality of air for everyone.” Currently Canada is lagging behind the United States in ethanol production and use, according to the CRFA. As a result of amendments to the US Federal Clean Air Act over a decade ago, the US is building new ethanol plants at a rate of one per month and presently has legislation before Congress to mandate the use of ethanol in gasoline from coast to coast. Canada has built one plant in ten years and has no ethanol mandate, said the CRFA. The CRFA called for a three-pronged program that would include: 1. A National Renewable Fuels Standard that would mandate specific levels of ethanol and biodiesel content in gasoline with the objective of reducing CO2. This mandate could be phased in over time while the Canadian ethanol industry builds capacity; 2. Producer incentives matching US levels of support to encourage greater production of ethanol and biodiesel in Canada; and 3. R&D support for expanded technology applications. This would allow for continued research into newer, more efficient applications of ethanol technology, such as cellulose ethanol technology. Ethanol is a high-octane alcohol produced from grains such as corn and wheat. It is commonly mixed with gasoline at five percent or 10 percent ratio. Any car built in the last 30 years is able to operate on ethanol-blended gasoline without modifications to its fuel system. Some 238 million liters of ethanol are produced annually in Canada, with another 100 million liters imported from the US. Ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 55 percent compared to gasoline. And according to a recent US Department of Agriculture study, ethanol contains 34 percent more energy than it takes to produce it – contrary to the popular myth about the renewable fuel.
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